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Glass and Pottery Sellers’ Association - August 2007, Volume 40

19th Century Transferware Styles

by wgpaul Bill

One of the most popular collecting areas for 19th century buffs is transferware. Original transferware was made from about 1830 to about 1900, primarily in the Staffordshire section of England, but also in other countries such as France and the U.S. It was made by a several step process. First, elaborately detailed designs were engraved on copper. Then, the engravings were inked. Next very thin tissue was placed over the ink. Finally, the inky tissue was placed onto the piece, transferring the print. Click on any photo in this article to see a full size photo.

Patterns changed in style over time. Typically the styles are divided into four collecting areas.


Romantic Style Romantic transferware was made during the early - mid 1830s until about 1870. The patterns are generally highly detailed.

Subjects generally fell into one of the following areas:

The patterns can be recognized by the following traits:


Historical Historical transferware was made about the same time as Romantic transferware, but had pictures of famous people, events, buildings or sites. It was made for the American Market and featured American sites or events. This style has been heavily copied, but the phrase “Historical Transferware” when used by collectors refers to the pieces made during the 19th century.

Subjects include:

Like Romantic transferware, the Historical style features the following traits:


Aesthetic The aesthetic movement began around 1870 and was a reaction against the fussiness of the Romantic style. The idea was that beauty could be found in unique and non-traditional ways. You may have heard the phrase “Art for Art's sake” — that was the Aesthetic Movement's credo. The designs were heavily influenced by Japanese styles. Japan had been closed to the West but reopened during this time, which is why the Japanese influence is so strong. It lasted until around 1900.

Subjects were almost always from the natural world and included:

Keys to the aesthetic style include:

Late Era Transferware

Late Era Very late in the 19th century and early into the 20th century, transferware designs became more dainty.

Late era transferware often featured the following subjects:

Late era designs are recognized by the following elements:

PLEASE NOTE: These photos can be printed for your own collection files, but are not to be used for any Internet auction listings, websites, or any other commercial purposes. The photos provided for this article are from the personal collection of the author or with permission from the owner.

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Featured Sellers

Recently featured sellers in the GPSA in July and August were cranberrymanor, 278stuff, and roxannesebastian. We encourage you to click on their seller IDs and visit their eBay auctions.


Member’s Pick: Check out this Website!

by marketpl Judy

American Pottery Clay Colors, Bottom Styles

American Pottery Clay Colors, Bottom Styles Here's a great site (from a fellow member of GPSA) that shows the different clay colors and bottom styles of many American pottery companies, along with other information.

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Don’t You Wish You Had One of These?

by wgpaul Bill

Photo Courtesy of Bellhorn Auction Services
Rookwood Pottery Art Tile

Most people know Rookwood Pottery as the maker of lovely vases, wall pockets and bookends. But did you also know that Rookwood is famous for its art pottery tiles? This 9" x 11" wood-framed tile was painted and signed by renowned Rookwood artist Sara Sax. The marks date it to 1920. The tile, which features Mt. Ranier, sold at a live auction by Bellhorn Auction Services in Ohio in early 2007 for $6,300.

Photo courtesy of Bellhorn Auction Services

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It happens every day! You anticipate receiving an item you won at auction. It arrives, and you open the box to see...pottery shards or slivers of glass!

Have you noticed how some auction photos just seem to scream “BUY ME!” while others are so fuzzy and far away you’re not sure what is being offered?

We share a few practical tips on the entire auction experience, from writing the auction, taking the photos, to packing the item to help you get that item safely to your buyer! Our GPSA website offers a more in-depth look at valuable packing and photo tips. Please visit and have a look around!

Depression Glass Reproductions Tips!

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No reserve clearance sales, less than TWO DOLLARS!

GPSA sellers are still listing clearance items. All items start at an opening bid of $1.99 or less. Don’t miss this opportunity to pick up a bargain from one of our reliable GPSA sellers! All sellers abide by the GPSA guidelines found on our home page.

Find a bargain! Deals and Steals!

To see Shazaam listings at any time, click here. Check back often — sellers add items all the time!


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Welcome New Members

We’re so happy to have you join us!!

The following eBay sellers became GPSA members in June and July. As members of the GPSA, they have committed to upholding the standards of the Glass & Pottery Sellers’ Association.

  • debsim1650
Welcome New Members
  • exislegirl

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